Creativity: The Holy Other as Transcendent Healer in Analysis, Community and Culture

Although neither traditional nor radically alternative, creative expression in Jungian analysis arises as the third transcendent healing opportunity, completing the dyad of analyst and analysand. This creative third can be a dream or an active imagination, sometimes in the form of a work of art, sometimes not, but always expressing the transcendent function of the Self in its creative play of the tension of opposites. Using examples from clinical cases, social experiments, and excerpts from the films of the Japanese master director Akira Kurosawa, the function of creativity will be explored both on a personal basis and in its larger collective and cultural role in our societies and our world community.

Writing: The Door In

Using innovative techniques inspired by Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron in their presentations on creative writing, as well as Tess Castleman’s own approach devised from fifteen years of conducting writing seminars, workshop participants will engage in an experiential writing process drawing upon their inner world. Participants will benefit from giving expression to their own voices, especially if they have been told that writing is not one of their talents or special abilities. (They will not be required to read their writing to the group, but will be given the opportunity to do so if they choose to.) During the day, a series of different exercises will guide us as we travel into the labyrinth of our inner resources to discover potentials that generally are unknown to us and largely untapped in our lives. Please bring journals or notebooks, at least two pens, or a laptop to record the results of our exploration.

Seabiscuit: The Little Horse that Could, and Did, and Still Does

The word “hero” is so broadly used in our day that it begins to lose its mythic sense. But the mythic Hero – larger than life and required to accomplish impossible tasks at great risk, bringing hope and redemption to lesser mortals – stands in an important relationship to the Self. Implied in the Hero’s grand mission are ideas of personal responsibility and vocation, two themes we meet frequently in Jung’s theory of individuation but do not often examine. This presentation, illustrated with film clips from the feature film, Seabiscuit, will invite conversation about the collective psychological phenomenon that was a horse named Seabiscuit – a true mythic Hero, and the human partners who engaged with him in a mutual process of transformation.

Many are Called – But How to Answer?

The word “vocation” means “a calling,” experienced as an inner voice that prompts us to follow a certain path in life. But “vocation” is more than an occupational aptitude or career path; it involves a sense of Destiny, of purposefulness – not merely blind Fate –that deepens our sense of self as we grow older. Jung’s theory of individuation suggests that we are each “called” to become distinct personalities, to become conscious of ourselves and our differences, both interpersonal and intrapersonal. But how can we answer this call in a world pressing more insistently for conformity for safety’s sake? What sort of heroism and personal responsibility is required for us to both hear and answer psyche’s call?

Trauma and Psychic Creativity

One of the most remarkable capacities of the psyche is its ability to manage traumatic experiences. Taking as examples major innovative works of art from the history of painting and film, Dr. Beebe will illustrate the strategies the psyche adopts when forced to manage its sense of violation and disillusionment through creativity. He will then relate the solutions endorsed by artists in times of cataclysmic social upheaval, with the choices analytic patients sometimes are able to make when faced with overwhelming life events.

How to Recognize the Eight Function-Attitudes: An Approach to Psychological Typing

To recognize at first glance the true “psychological type” of a person one is starting to get to know is no doubt a knack, but to be able to identify the particular kind of consciousness that the person is presenting at a given moment of interaction is something that can be learned. The eight-function, eight-archetype model of the types that John Beebe has developed greatly facilitates this learning. With the aid of clips from classic American film, Dr. Beebe will demonstrate how this model can enable us to recognize each of the eight “functions of consciousness” that Jung described in his 1921 classic, Psychological Types. The systematic use of Dr. Beebe’s new model, developing Jung’s theory for our time, is a good way to assess the results of taking an MBTI paper and pencil instrument to see if the test findings really match the conscious orientation of the person.

Taking us into his cinematic workshop, Dr. Beebe will share with us how he determines that one function-attitude and not another is being presented to us on the screen at a particular moment. He will show how he then goes about assessing that consciousness using Jung’s typology. He will present some telling examples of how particular archetypes colors the presentation of a particular function, such as feeling, thinking, intuition, or sensation, and its attitude, extraversion or introversion, often so much as to make it seem like some other function and attitude. The goal of this daylong event is to sharpen the audience’s talent for type recognition.

Cosmos and Psyche: Jungian Archetypes and Astrology

Jung began to examine astrology as early as 1911, when he mentioned his inquiries in a letter to Freud. That interest gradually developed into a major focus of investigation, and in his later years Jung devoted himself with considerable passion to astrological research. “Astrology,” he stated, “represents the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.” Insights from these studies influenced many of his most significant formulations in the final, extraordinarily fruitful phase of his life’s work, including archetypal theory, synchronicity, and the philosophy of history. Since his death, reports from his family and others close to him have revealed that in his last decades Jung came to employ the analysis of his patients’ astrological charts as a regular and integral aspect of his clinical work.

Yet astrology runs so directly counter to the long-established cosmology that encompasses the modern world view that one can appreciate Jung’s reluctance to make public the extent of his use of astrology, and the resistance of many Jungian analysts to further explore the astrological direction their founder had pursued. However, recent research by Richard Tarnas and Stanislav Grof gives new support for Jung’s intuition of the value of astrology and of the trans-psychic (or “psychoid”) nature of the archetypes. These observations suggest the existence of an extraordinarily consistent synchronistic correspondence between planetary movements and the archetypal patterns of human experience, reflecting something like a cosmic anima mundi in which the human being participates.

On Friday, Dr. Tarnas will summarize this evidence, discuss the new light it sheds on the human psyche and the unfolding drama of history, and explore the implications it holds for Jungian psychology.

Cosmos and Psyche: Jungian Archetypes and Astrology

Saturday will be devoted to a more in-depth survey of the observed archetypal correlations, the relevant principles of astrological analysis, and the new horizon of possibility this perspective opens up for facilitating both individuation and collective self-awareness.

Why Good People Do Bad Things: Revisiting the Shadow

For each of us there are energies, motives, agendas which operate outside our conscious control and sometimes are contrary to our professed values. These energies, which Jung collectively identified as the Shadow, might best be defined not as evil, but as that which makes us uncomfortable with ourselves. Such energies represent an enormous invitation for greater consciousness, for living more ethically, and whose integration brings a greater possibility of wholeness. This program will define and illustrate the many ways in which the Shadow operates in personal and social life.

Engaging the Personal Shadow

What is our personal Shadow? How may we come to know that which is by definition unconscious within us? A series of exercises and questions will help provide greater self-awareness. Our learning objectives will be to explore:

What is meant by the concept of the Shadow?

  • How does the Shadow show up in personal, psychological life?
  • How does the Shadow manifest collectively in social settings?
  • How does one gain a greater awareness of the personal and the collective Shadow?

Please bring a pen and journal for these exercises.

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